Japan passes controversial anti-terror law despite protests

Peace and Freedom

AFP

© AFP / by Kyoko HASEGAWA | Protesters demonstrate against a controversial anti-terror bill near parliament in Tokyo. Rights groups say it is so broad it could be abused to allow wiretapping of innocent citizens and threaten privacy and freedom of expression

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan passed a controversial anti-terror law Thursday that critics warned would stomp on privacy rights and lead to over-the-top police surveillance.

Thousands protested outside the legislature after a full night of debate by sleepy parliamentarians and unsuccessful efforts by Japan’s weak opposition to block the law’s passage.

The government said the law, which criminalises the planning of serious offenses, is necessary to prevent terrorism ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

It doesn’t give police new powers, but critics say the legislation could be abused to allow wiretapping of innocent citizens and threaten privacy and freedom of expression guarantees in the constitution.

Terrorism “won’t disappear because…

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